Act F.A.S.T if you suspect a stroke

Published Thursday 20 March 2014 at 15:59

Blackburn with Darwen Council is supporting the Act F.A.S.T campaign which has been developed by the Public Health England to highlight the symptoms of Stroke and the importance of emergency treatment.

Stroke is a ‘brain attack’ caused by a disturbance to the blood supply to the brain. Stroke is the third biggest cause of death in the UK, accounting for 10% of deaths (more than 45,000) each year, and the largest single cause of severe disability.

Being seen early after the onset is crucial to the effectiveness of stroke treatments.

F.A.S.T., which stands for Face-Arm-Speech-Time, is a simple test to help people recognise the signs of stroke and understand the importance of emergency treatment.

The campaign encourages people to call 999 as soon as possible.

  • Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
  • Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

If you see any one of these three signs, it’s TIME to call 999. Stroke is always a medical emergency.

Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council said: “Calling an ambulance means that patients can be seen by medical professionals sooner. With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, so the quicker a patient arrives at a specialist unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment and the better their chances are of surviving and reducing long-term disability. If you suspect a stroke, always dial 999.”

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